Summer 2014, Volume 10

National Office News

Delegates from 25 Periclean Colleges and Universities Reconceptualize Organization of Civic Engagement and Social Responsibility

In July, delegates representing 25 Periclean colleges and universities convened at The Pocantico Center of the Rockefeller Brothers Fund to discuss innovative strategies for organizing and integrating curricular and co-curricular programming focused on civic engagement and social responsibility (CESR). The meeting is part of Creating Cohesive Paths to Civic Engagement,a three-year project focused on improving approaches to CESR in higher education. Over the last year, teams on each campus collected comprehensive data on all CESR related curricular and co-curricular programs. Prior to the convening, institutions were paired with a Periclean peer to review survey material and discuss findings.  

Representatives from diverse institutions gathered for discussions about organizing, integrating, and strengthening CESR opportunities on their campuses. Delegates shared advice, best practices, and innovative new approaches, including pathway models and specialized civic scholars programs.

Participants spent considerable time working on action plans to improve civic engagement programming on each campus, including enhancing CESR, addressing gaps, ensuring clear learning outcomes, creating effective pathways, and enabling students in all disciplines to incorporate civic engagement into their courses of study. Working in small groups, they provided each other with practical recommendations for the implementation of programs.

Colleges and universities participating in the convening are eligible to apply for mini-grants to assist with projects to strengthen curricular and co-curricular programming for CESR.

Participants were joined by Lauren McGrail, Executive Director of the Eugene M. Lang Foundation and Loni Bordoloi, Program Officer at The Teagle FoundationNeil Grabois, Chair of the Project Pericles Board, and Barbara Holland, consultant for Project Pericles.

We thank the Eugene M. Lang Foundation and The Teagle Foundation for supporting this work and the Rockefeller Brothers Fund for hosting the convening.


Eugene M. Lang Elected Chair Emeritus

Our founder, longtime champion, and Chair, Eugene M. Lang was elected Chair Emeritus at the May meeting of the Project Pericles Board of Directors. Mr. Lang's insight, leadership, and determination made Project Pericles a reality. He is truly an innovator, seeing the need for a reinvestment in civic education long before most.

Mr. Lang has had a remarkable career in business and as a philanthropist. Recognizing his services to education, President Bush designated him a 'Point of Light' and President Clinton awarded him the Presidential Medal of Freedom, this country's highest civilian award.
In 1981, he created the 'I Have a Dream' Program, which went on to become a nationwide enterprise operating in over 75 cities and providing sustained personalized guidance and support to many thousands of children (identified as 'Dreamers') throughout their K-12 years plus an assured college opportunity. Over the years, he has created a variety of innovative scholarships, academic and social performance incentives, fellowships, and chairs at many colleges. He has supported and endowed numerous internships, researchers, and socially-oriented projects for students and faculty.

We thank Mr. Lang for his inspiration and many years of service and look forward to building upon his groundbreaking work in higher education.


Neil R. Grabois Elected Board Chair of Project Pericles

The Project Pericles Board of Directors elected Neil R. Grabois as Chair. Neil previously served as Vice-Chair and brings decades of experience in higher education to his new position. As the former President of Colgate University, former Vice President of the Carnegie Corporation of New York, and a longtime advocate of civic engagement, Neil has been a strong board member with a substantive knowledge of the work of Project Pericles.

The Board of Directors also elected Richard Ekman as Vice-Chair of Project Pericles andAlison Bernstein as its first Treasurer. Richard Ekman is the President of the Council of Independent Colleges. Alison Bernstein is the former Vice-President of the Ford Foundation and currently the Director of the Institute for Women's Leadership at Rutgers University. We are delighted to have such strong, supportive leadership from our board.

Richard Guarasci and Steven G. Poskanzer new Chair and Vice-Chair of Presidents' Council

We are pleased to announce that Richard Guarasci, President of Wagner College, is the new Chair of the Project Pericles Presidents' Council and Steven G. Poskanzer, President of Carleton College, is the new Vice-Chair. Please join us in welcoming Richard and Steve to their new positions. We thank Rebecca Chopp, the former President of Swarthmore College, for her many years of service on the Presidents' Council, most recently as Chair. 


D4D on the Road Workshops - Another Extraordinary Year Ahead

Project Pericles is pleased to announce that the 2014-2015 Debating for Democracy (D4D)™ on the Road workshops will be led by Seiji Carpenter and John Gilbert. Both trainers have extensive campaign experience and offer an extraordinary array of practical knowledge and skills. They are excited to share their insights with students, faculty, and community partners attending the 2014-2015 workshops. As in the past, participants to the D4D™ workshops will explore effective approaches and strategies to move causes they support forward. We are currently finalizing the schedule for the 2014-2015 D4D™ workshop calendar.

The D4D on the Road™ workshops, hosted at Periclean colleges and universities, provide training in leadership development, media strategy, coalition building, and developing an effective message. Through these day-long workshops, Project Pericles has trained more than 2,300 attendees at Periclean colleges and universities across the United States. 

Pericleans in the News


Letters to an Elected Official

The 2014-2015 projects proposed by the six winning teams are in full motion. Teams have submitted exciting and engaging proposals to move forward the issues raised in their letters to elected officials. As the proposals are approved and the teams receive their award, we will be reporting on their progress.

Pitzer College's Eli Erlick and Nicholas LaCivita wrote, "A Letter to U.S. Representative Judy Chu (D-CA) in support of the Safe Schools Improvement Act." The act would mandate anti-bullying policies for LGBTQ students at the K-12 level and would be the first of its kind to protect at-risk youth from victimization.

As part of their work to raise awareness about the health and safety of LGBTQ students, Eli presented two workshops at The Gender Spectrum Conference, one for gender-expansive teens and the other for parents and professionals working with them.

Swarthmore College's Jason Mendoza and Mackenzie Welch wrote "A Letter to Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ) concerning Human Rights Considerations and Effectiveness of U.S. Sponsored Coca Fumigation in Colombia." In June, the pair travelled to Washington, D.C. to attend a meeting on Capitol Hill about U.S. drug policy in the Western Hemisphere that featured Congressman Matt Salmon (R-AZ), Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere, and Congressman Eliot Engel (D-NY), the Ranking Democrat on the House Foreign Affairs Committee. The pair also met with scholars in the Drug Policy Program at the Inter-American Dialogue that work in their Drug Policy Program.

The pair plan on returning to D.C. for meetings with their elected officials and experts on drug policy.

In their letter, Mendoza and Welch argue for a change in U.S. drug eradication policy in Colombia from aerial fumigation to manual eradication. The authors believe that aerial fumigation causes human rights violations, is not cost-efficient, and exacerbates rural displacement in Colombia.


Seven Periclean Colleges and Universities Recognized for their Eco-Friendliness

College Prowler ranked higher education institutions throughout the country based on factors such as "LEED-certified facilities and sustainability initiatives ... as well as striving for a more eco-friendly future." The highest scoring institution in each state was then ranked amongst others to present the most eco-friendly colleges and institutions across the United States.

Project Pericles is proud of its seven member institutions that ranked the highest in their states and were included in College Prowler's list:

  1. Allegheny College - PA
  2. Berea College - KY
  3. Carleton College - MN
  4. Elon University - NC
  5. Goucher College - MD
  6. Hendrix College - AR
  7. Pitzer College - CA

Pitzer College topped the list and was the only school to receive a perfect 10! The full list is available at EcoWatch


Annual Meetings

Thank you to The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation for graciously hosting Project Pericles' 2014 Presidents' Council Meeting on November 5th and another thank you to Carleton College for hosting the 2014 Program Directors' Meeting October 1st and 2nd. Both meetings are pivotal in generating new ideas and initiatives, and we appreciate the generosity of The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and Carleton College.

The 2015 Debating for Democracy (D4D)™ National Conference will be held March 19th and 20th at The New School. The conference is an opportunity for student leaders from all of our campuses to be joined by college presidents, faculty, and community leaders for panels and advocacy workshops that have a meaningful impact on their own civic engagement trajectories. Finalist teams will present their letters to an elected official in the legislative competition judged by former elected officials.  


Project Pericles Needs Your Support!

Please consider making a generous donation today to Project Pericles so that we can continue our work preparing tomorrow's engaged citizens. Donations can now be made directly through our website by clicking donate in the upper right corner.